We are seeing crazy fertilizer prices for our hay fields, and a 12% increase for our feed costs. Corn has jumped to $8/bushel, the highest in 12 years. Even though we pasture all our livestock, and we have been working on the soils fertility for the past few years, the fertility is not high enough to give the animals complete nutrition off of pasture – we definitely have to supplement with corn and wheat, rice, barley – all those grains that are heavy nitrogen (ammonium nitrate is the common fertilizer used) “eaters.” It’s interesting that the farmer said that his colleagues may look to grow low nitrogen crops – the easiest low nitrogen commodity crop is soy.
All these increased direct import costs don’t even factor in my increase cost due to gasoline prices. Anyway, It used to cost about $45/acre to fertilize hay in 2019, now it’s up to about $229/acre. If it was just the corn prices, just the fertilizer prices, just the gasoline prices, or some other increased cost, maybe we could absorb it. But that we can’t absorb all these additional costs. We used to sell eggs for $3/dozen, now I probably wouldn’t sell them for less than $8/dozen and I don’t think people will pay that when they can get the 3-month old grocery store eggs for $1.29. While many of us are trying to find creative ways to generate extra income, such as selling seedlings or raising more livestock for sale, I think a lot of homesteaders & small farmers will pull back out of farmers markets and out of boutique CSA sales because they would rather give the high-quality foods that they are making to their loved ones rather than haggle the price with customers who don’t understand why the cost is skyrocketing like this. We have been trying to tell people to stock up, but they just don’t get it. I told them that our price was gonna have to go up, and they congratulated me on finally being able to turn a profit. I didn’t know what to say – because I’m going to be barely keeping our heads above water. We’ve tripled the size of our family garden this year, and we normally just rely on the soils natural fertility, but we have stocked up on Organic fertilizer to ensure we have enough food to feed our family and offset rising grocery costs. I don’t know how I’m going to tell my customers that our pastured chicken is going to have to almost double in cost. Pastured turkeys are going to go for about $125 for Thanksgiving, up from $50 in 2020. Will people pay it? I dunno.
People need to pay attention. I don’t need anybody on the news to tell me why inflation is happening or whether or not it’s going to create food shortages. I’m living it. We are having to make tough choices even though we don’t owe money on any big farm equipment, etc. we are resorting to barter, rummaging, buying everything used that we can. Doing repairs, refurbishing. The farmers who are trying to figure out how to pay their farm contracts and make their loan payments on their equipment and afford the skyrocketing costs of fertilizer to do so – I can’t imagine the situation that they are in right now. Every time you go to the grocery store, make sure to replace everything that you used that week, especially your raw meats, frozen produce, dry goods, and canned goods. And then buy one or two extra of just a few things, and keep building up! Don’t get caught trying to figure out how to pay an arm and a leg just for some vegetable oil.
Learn to cook from scratch! It’s ridiculously scary how many people don’t even know how to break down a whole stock of broccoli or slice up or tomato or break down a whole chicken. People have got to learn these skills because convenience food is going to be at an ultra premium. Learn to cook with seasonings, learn to cook simply. Start learning how to make bread now! learn how to make yogurt. Learn how to water bath can, or even pressure can! *DO NOT wait* until you need these skills to start learning them.
I’m part of a large farming community. I myself have a large greenhouse operation.
Our area raises alot of apples, onion 🧅 and celery etc.
You would be shocked 😳 how much of the product gets dumped every year right back on the fields to rot.
The reason is the buyers want near perfect product. Like 🍎 apples can’t have 1 little bruising on them. Onion 🧅 have to be just the right size. If not it gets rejected. They haul dump truck loads everyday to the fields because they didn’t make grade.
My dad is a produce manger at a large retail store. And same thing there if it gets to the store with the slightest bruise he has to throw it in garbage 🗑️
What a shame we are so wasteful that we only buy food in perfect shape and size.
We are a spoiled world 🌎 and need to wake up.
The global food crisis is at its highest China has been waiting for this very moment